Japan says vertigo probable cause of F-35A crash
Kyodo -- Jun 11
Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Monday the crash of an Air Self-Defense Force F-35A stealth fighter into the Pacific Ocean two months ago was likely caused by "spatial disorientation" of the pilot, rather than technical problems with the aircraft.

According to the Defense Ministry, there were no signs the 41-year-old pilot tried to eject. He is believed to have lost his bearings during an ASDF exercise just before the crash -- the first reported in the world for an F-35A.

Iwaya told a press conference he plans to lift the ban on flights by the remaining 12 F-35As, and that Japan will keep the plan to purchase more F-35As from the United States and deploy a total of 105.

He added the ministry is taking measures, such as special inspections of the remaining 12 F-35As at Misawa Air Base in the northeastern prefecture of Aomori, and rigorous training of pilots using special equipment so they can avoid losing their bearings.

News source: Kyodo
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